Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Back Room

102 Norfolk St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-5098

Bathroom situation
- two back around the corner from the bar and two more in the upstairsy, loungey area. All are surprisingly pedestrian given that this spot's chandelier-game is at an all-time high.
Takes credit cards? - yes, but the minimum is just downright unfortunate. It's like $30 or something. This place gets a lot of mileage out of that damn chandelier.
Crowded on weekends? - yes, be prepared for standing-room only. And ladies, don't think a gent will offer you his seat just cuz of the speakeasy vibe and the fuckin chandelier. Wear only your most comfortable high-heel Uggs.
Seating - only about 10 stools at the bar, but they gots a gang of Agatha Christie-style chaises and davenports in the lounge. And a fucking wooden globe. And yes they did do a sliding bat-cave style bookcase. Colonel Mustard, watch your back and your candlestick!
Neighborhood - the justifyably-overlooked part of the SW LES. Really, it's just this place, Nurse Bettie & The Delancey.
Type of crowd - this seems like a good point to address the supposedly-secret nature of this place. Basically, its door isn't on the street. There's a short gate two buildings south of Nurse Bettie that usually has a doorman standing outside of it (it'll look awkard, so you'll see it). He'll let you in if (a) you got a few you-know-the-type chicks with you, (b) you look either LES-cool or UES-rich or (c) on rare occasions if you can get your friends who are already there to come out and vouch for you. You then go through the gate, down some stairs, through an alley, up some more stairs and knock at the door which has a sly peephole. Honestly, it's only marginally worth the hassle. And really only once.
Pretentious/assholes - Hard to say. The Back Room is years past its on-the-low, cool-kids prime so the clientele is (presumably) a lot more diverse than it used to be. Still, you know how Johnny-Come-Latelys be [ed. I don't know how all these hyphens be].
Cost of Stella - no recuerdo. While we're on the topic tho, they serve cocktails in tea-cups here which is good and quaint, but prolly also a certified screwjob.
What time people start showing up - 11ish. How hot is The Kickdrums "Just a Game" btw?
Bartender efficiency - the seats in the lounge are usually reserved latenight, but the cocktail waitresses [ed. that term is so Mad Men] that handle that area are especially on point which is a breath of that fresh. The actual bar-tenders, however, are fairly excellent. This place is usually well-staffed too. Overcompensating for the overprices? Maybe, but fuck it...
Official Website - nathan.
Food? How late - no. Even checked the tea set...no Willy Wonka.
TVs? What's on - this is really more of an ambiance place and they do it really well, so a TV here would be be blasphemous even if you were a non-practicing Cthuluan.
Guy:girl ratio - considering this place caters mainly to young ladies and those who tolerate them in order to be with them, if you are a single dude and do manage to sneak your little poop-butt up in here, you'll immediately be shown the door.
Toys - if you haven't brought any stimulating conversation with you in your fanny pack, you're out of luck. Unless you brought coke.
Age of clientele - think we've been over this. Oddly, this place strikes Visceralist as the last place you'd feel obligated to wear a sports-coat or blazer to, but apparently we're wrong. Dead wrong.
Space for dancing? - Visceralist was considering deleting this category out of concern for those who might be embarrassed by us highlighting the fact that this crowd is the least-dancingest, most-standingest...seriously, the electric slide or even a jumping jack would bring out the inner wallflower in this joint's entire history of clientele. SMFH.
D├ęcor - classy. Like, even past Trump-classy.
Grimeyness - the bathrooms are somewhat in keeping with the neighborhood's ethos, but the rest of this place is relatively immaculate.
ID check procedure - booty-check procedure, more like.
Music medium, style & volume
- yikes, you've officially caught Visceralist with our pants firmly down at our ankles and our wallet peeking partially out of the back pocket. Dang. There's no juke here, it's likely PA/iPod, but we honestly can't remember what type of ish they play.
Specials or most popular drink - specials/happy hours seriously unlikely. Visceralist is reminded of those unbearable statements like "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." Cunts.

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